[Health behavior, preventative medicine, early detection, and utilization of women's health services among Ethiopian women immigrants in Israel] Academic Article uri icon


  • Immigrants differ in morbidity and mortality characteristics, as well as health services and preventative medicine utilization, compared with the non-immigrant population. As the Length of stay in the host country increases, these patterns become similar to the Local population, due to the acculturation process. Immigrant women's prenatal care is often partial and inadequate, usually occurring late in pregnancy, their contraceptive use is lower and the rate of abortions is higher. They have less screening tests for cancer detection, are diagnosed at advanced stages and their survival and cure probabilities are lower Facilitators and barriers to immigrant women's health behaviors include cultural beliefs and perceptions, length of stay in the host country, degree of acculturation, Language barriers, accessibility, primary physician involvement, role burdens, knowledge and awareness. Ethiopian women experienced a sharp transition in a variety of life aspects following their immigration to Israel. Studies show that Ethiopian women's health and health behavior are typical to those encountered among immigrant women. Their birth patterns are becoming similar to local women as their years in Israel increase, and veteran's patterns are closer to the local population. Data regarding contraceptive use is lacking; the abortion rate is four times higher in comparison with Israeli-born Jewish women, and preventive medicine, referral and early detection rates for cancer are lower. Ethiopian immigrant women in Israel are at high risk regarding their health. Understanding the underlying causes, the changes that occur as time in Israel increases, and identifying the accessibility barriers to services experienced by these women, will assist in planning cultural and needs sensitive services, including health promotion programs.

publication date

  • March 6, 2013